THES leak

The official top 200 of the world's universities (according to the Times Higher Education Supplement) will be published tomorrow. But a privileged copy is already available at this blog. For an analysis of the new list, have a look at this weblog.My observations? My current university (University of Sydney) ranked 38th, slightly up from last years position of 40th. Australia ranked third in terms of the amount of universities in the top 200 with 17 universities. Not surprisingly, the US and the UK ranked 1st and 2nd.My 'other' home country the Netherlands ranked…Read more …

What’s the right atmosphere?

The International Herald Tribune yesterday reported about China’s investments in their universities. China is focusing on science and technology, areas that reflect the country's development needs, but also reflect the preferences of an authoritarian system that restricts free speech. The liberal arts often involve critical thinking about politics, economics and history. The government has placed relatively little emphasis on achieving world-class status in these subjects. Yet, many Chinese say - most often indirectly - that the limits on academic debate could hamper efforts to create world-class universities"Right now, I don't think any university…Read more …

More branches

Unlike the University of Warwick, the University of New South Wales will continue to develop its branch campus in Singapore. The University of Warwick decided not to establish a branch campus because of financial reasons and because of Singapore’s regulation that foreign institutions are not allowed to criticise local politics. UNSW and Warwick were the only two foreign universities granted special status by the Singaporean Government to set up fully fledged independent teaching and research institutions offering undergraduate degrees. UNSW expects to open the doors of its UNSW Asia Campus, to up to…Read more …

Snapped branches

Warwick’s decision not to set up a branch campus has become final. Today the Warwick website announced that on the 18th of October the council voted against the Singapore plans. Their press release however remains vary vague about the exact reasons compared to the article in the Financial Times and Warwick’s student paper Boar (see my previous post). The university will however keep on cooperating with Singapore:The Council further resolved that the University should continue discussions within the academic community and with the EDB with a view to bringing forward an alternative plan…Read more …

Newsflashes

In the coming four weeks the posting will probably be a bit slower. I am currently visiting the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies in the Netherlands (a 3-week visit sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia). After this I’ll be co-teaching a course in an Erasmus Mundus programme at the University of Aveiro in Portugal for one week (a course jointly offered by the University of Oslo, the University of Aveiro and the University of Tampere (Finland) and coordinated by HEDDA).…Read more …

Whartonization

The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania seems to have become very popular in Southeast Asia. The Singapore Management University that was established in 2000 was modeled after the Wharton School."Its educational and administrative practices are modeled after American institutions, in particular the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which has played a central role in SMU's development."Today, the New Straits Times reports that Malaysia is going to be home to a top-class business management institution, modeled on.. the Wharton School of Business. Special Envoy to the Higher Education…Read more …

One more to go

Robert J. Aumann and Thomas C. Schelling have been awarded The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2005 (a.k.a. the Nobel Prize in Economics) “for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis".This means we have only one more to go for 2005: the Nobel Prize for Literature. Let’s all hope this time the prize is finally going to Pramoedya Ananta Toer.    Read more …

Knowledge production shifts

I know. A lot can be said against the use of university rankings and even more against their methodologies. That said….the Times Higher education Supplement published their annual ranking of technology universities and institutions last Friday. The ranking is based on peer review assessment and on the number of citations per paper. They created 3 lists: one for technology universities, one for non-university institutions in science and one for non-university institutions in technology. Below are some of the results. In my view there are two important observations:- The stable high positions of Asian…Read more …

Academic Eurosclerosis

The Chronicle reports on the Eurosclerosis in academic entrepreneurialism. It's kind of an old message: although many national and university policies have changed to promote technology transfer and commercialisation of scientific research, the traditional research universities on the continent seem not able to make the 'cultural' switch. Professors are more interested in their academic publication records than in their profits. In other words: bad news for the European knowledge economies and the Lisbon targets.On the other hand, it is rather remarkable that most of the European countries have implemented regulations similar to the…Read more …

What is it with education research…

Professor Terry Moe from the Political Science Department of Stanford University recently spoke some provocative words at the University of Sydney. The Higher Education section of The Australian reports about her talk at the Schooling for the 21st Century conference in Sydney. Here are some of her provocative statements: "If you were in political science and you proposed something like vouchers [enabling families to choose schools], there'd be a big theoretical discussion. In education, they're thinking, what is the impact on the system which we all really care about and are invested in?…Read more …

Academic blogospherication

Interesting article about academic blogging  (written by Henry Farrell of Crooked Timber) in the Chronicle. The academic ‘blogosphere’ as a substitution for the Republic of Letters? I hope it’s just a supplement, not a substitute. Nevertheless: definitely worth a read!Read more …

European integration business

In an article in the Financial Times, Ernest-Antoine Seilliere (president of Unice, the pan-European business association) accuses European governments of being indifferent and is urging governments to find a rapid solution to the institutional crisis.Seilliere calls on the European governments to solve these three issues:“First, complete the internal market including services. This will not happen until the myth of the "Polish plumber" - the idea that cheaper workers from Eastern Europe will increasingly take jobs in the west - and other misconceptions have been dispelled. Second, review existing legislation and actions to create…Read more …

Oz Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2005 was awarded to two Australians. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won the 2005 Nobel Medicine prize for discovering a bacterium that causes gastritis and stomach ulcers, according to the Nobel Assembly of Stockholm's Karolinska Institute.Read more …

Let’s snap back

Yesterday I finally found the time to listen to Robert Reich’s lecture “How Unequal Can America Get Before We Snap?”. Very interesting and convincing argument presented in an exceptionally humorous but also sharp-witted way (I particularly liked the ‘French designer hips’). His argument is basically that the income disparity in the US has grown since 1979 and is likely to continue growing in the near future. Although everyone is getting better of in an absolute sense, the well-of are getting much more better off than the less well-of.The two possible outcomes is like…Read more …